Moldova to seek for higher Russian gas transit rate.

22/7 Tass 381a

CHISINAU, July 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Moldova will seek for a higher Russian gas transit rate to make up for a higher Russian gas price, a source in the Moldovan Economy Ministry told reporters on Thursday.

“Since Russia increased its gas price for Moldova to the European level we can put forward the same demands for the gas transit price,” the source said. Moldova, including the Dniester Region, consumes about three billion cubic meters of gas annually, while 6-7 times higher gas supplies are exported via the country to Western Europe.

Under the current gas contract between the countries the gas price for Moldova is calculated under a formula, which is based on the average price that European countries pay and the price quotations on gas oil and fuel gas for the last nine months. “Other energy resources, for instance, coal, should be included in the formula to keep a relatively stable price that will be lower than the current price,” the source said.

Moldova and Gazprom are discussing a new five-year contract for gas supplies. The contract is to be signed before the end of this year, when the contract, which is concluded in 2006, expires. Under the contract Gazprom and Moldovagaz agreed to increase gradually the gas price to the average European level by 2011. Since then the Russian gas price for Moldova went up fivefold to 322 dollars for 1,000 cubic meters. In the fourth quarter of this year the gas price will make 367 dollars. Moldova levies three dollars for the transit of 1,000 cubic meters of gas per each 100 kilometers.

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